The 1966 Notre Dame vs. Michigan State football match is considered one of the most significant and most controversial games in college football history played between Michigan State and Notre Dame. The match was played in Michigan State’s Spartan Stadium on November 19, 1966. Michigan State entered the contest 9–0 and ranked No. 2, while Notre Dame entered 8–0 and rated No. 1. Notre Dame elected to not try to find a score on the final series the game finished in a 10–10 tie. Notre Dame went on to acquire or share the national title in two polls (including both AP and UPI); Michigan State shared or won in three small surveys, and Alabama, who ended with all the only undefeated and untied record, won two small polls.
Notre Dame, which had last won a national championship in 1964 (non consensus), rated No. 1 both the AP and Coaches’ polls. Defending National Champion Michigan State, who’d completed the 1965 season No. 1 at the UPI Coaches’ poll, but was upset by UCLA in the Rose Bowl the past year, entered the game ranked No. 2 in the polls. The Fighting Irish, whose bid for a national championship two decades before had been snuffed out by USC, were hungry, while the Spartans had history and home-field edge on their side. This was the very first time in 20 years a school football matchup was given the”Game of the Century” tag by the national press, and ABC had the country’s audiences in its grip, with equal parts Notre Dame fans and Michigan State fans. This was the very first time in the 30-year history of the AP poll the No. 1 team played the No. 2 team. The Spartans had defeated Notre Dame the previous year 12–3 holding Notre Dame to minus-12 yards rushing.
A fortuitous quirk in scheduling attracted these 2 teams together late in the season. They were not even supposed to meet when the 1966 schedules were drawn up. Michigan State had just nine matches scheduled (although they were allowed to possess eight ) while Notre Dame was initially scheduled to play Iowa that week, as had been the custom since 1945. However, in 1960, the Hawkeyes suddenly dropped the Irish out of their program, from 1964 onward. Michigan State was accessible and agreed to return to Notre Dame’s program in 1965–66.
The match wasn’t shown on TV. Each group was allotted one nationwide television appearance and also two regional television appearances every year. Notre Dame had utilized their nationwide TV slot in the season opening game against Purdue. ABC executives didn’t even want to demonstrate the game anywhere but the regional area, but pressure in the West Coast and the South (to the tune of 50,000 letters) made ABC atmosphere the game on tape delay. ABC relented and blacked out the Michigan State-Notre Dame game in just two countries (reportedly North Dakota and South Dakota), therefore it could theoretically be called a regional broadcast. It would also be the first time a college football game was broadcast to Hawaii and to U.S. troops in Vietnam.  The official attendance was declared at 80,011 (111% capacity) and was the most attended game in Michigan State football history at the time (the current record is 80,401 on Sept. 22, 1990 vs. Notre Dame).
Notre Dame was coached by Ara Parseghian and Michigan State was coached by Duffy Daugherty, both college legends.
A lot of the ABC telecast footage resides. The second half is present in its entirety, as do both scoring drives starting in the next quarter (Michigan State’s field goal and Notre Dame’s touchdown).
Read more: johncenaheelturn.com